It was hot and crowds were “low” this Fourth of July at Walt Disney World. Normally a magnet for locals and out-of-state (and international) tourists alike, the Fourth of July at Disney World wasn’t the draw that it was in years past as the trend of a slow summer continues.
As you can see in the graph below from thrill-data.com, 2023 (black line) was the slowest July 4th in the past 10 years at Walt Disney World by average wait time across all four Disney World theme parks. Walt Disney World attractions averaged a 24-minute wait on the Fourth of July. That makes it the slowest day of 2023 – something that might be considered an impossibility in years past.
It’s a trend that isn’t just limited to the holiday weekend or the wave of extremely warm weather in Central Florida. Yes, it’s very hot right now. We’re in the parks almost every day and the heat is oppressive and certainly keeping some guests at home or in the pool. That said, average wait times were 20% lower year-over-year in May and 17% lower YoY in June.
It’s too early to compare a YoY monthly average for July, but July had lower wait times than June in 2022, so we’d expect the same to occur this year save for some completely unexpected deal or offering from Disney World that would be too good to pass up for guests. Here’s a look at average monthly wait times going back to January 2022. In short, 2023 is trending below 2022, regardless of the current heat wave.
Going back to the Fourth of July wait times, Animal Kingdom had the slowest Fourth of July since Pandora – The World of Avatar opened and averaged just a 21-minute wait throughout the day. Flight of Passage averaged 40 minutes, Na’vi River Journey averaged 10 minutes, and the rest of the park had a 5-minute average.
Over at EPCOT, which had a one-night-only Fourth of July fireworks show, Frozen Ever After averaged 67 minutes, Test Track averaged 64 minutes, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure averaged 55 minutes, and everything else averaged below 30 minutes. The overall average wait time for EPCOT attractions was 26 minutes.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Slinky Dog Dash was the top dog, averaging 55 minutes throughout the day. Rise of the Resistance clocked in at a 47-minute average, and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith averaged 34 minutes. Everything else averaged 30 minutes or less. The overall average wait time for Hollywood Studios attractions was 29 minutes.
Magic Kingdom, party central for the Fourth of July, with multiple dance parties and a special fireworks show, had the highest-wait attraction in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which averaged 82 minutes – not bad at all for the Fourth of July. From there, Peter Pan’s Flight averaged 72 minutes, Space Mountain was just under an hour at 59 minutes, and Jungle Cruise averaged 49 minutes. A handful of indoor offerings averaged above 30 minutes including Haunted Mansion (44 minutes), Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (41 minutes), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (35 minutes), and Pirates of the Caribbean (34 minutes). Princess meet and greets were also a popular indoor option. The overall average wait time for Magic Kingdom attractions was 26 minutes.
We’ve been tracking the “slow” summer for a while now, and it’s possible that we’ll see some of the many ticket and hotel offers start to pay off for Disney World shortly, but it’s just as likely that we continue to watch wait times trend well below previous years. This shouldn’t be wholly unexpected, either. Disney executives have tipped that there will be a “moderation” in crowd levels as a result of the 50th Anniversary drawing to a close in March. Beyond that, Disney doesn’t have a huge summer draw planned, whether that’s a show or attraction. The next “big” thing that will happen is the long-overdue completion of The Pit at EPCOT later this year, and then Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening in 2024.
If you’re planning on visiting Walt Disney World this summer and will commit to staying hydrated and taking breaks from the heat, you might just find some low wait times during your upcoming vacation.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!